Corsa is now a car with real impact
Bigger, more grown up and infinitely better built, Vauxhall's Corsa is the car you knew General Motors could build if the gloves came off...
No longer just a shopping trolley, the Corsa now has real impact. The front end features a deep Vauxhall V-grille with aggressive air intakes under the bumper and a pair of headlamps that smear back along the wings.
Bigger than the model it replaces, the Corsa shares a platform with Fiats Grande Punto, the benefit of a rather complicated relationship between Fiat and General Motors thats too convoluted to go into here.
Suffice to say, you may be reminded of the pretty Fiat when you spot the window by the A-pillar and the rather unconventional door outlines.
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Climb inside and, if youre used to the Astra, you'll feel immediately at home. The quality of materials used is leagues ahead of the old Corsa and like the Astra, there's the bulletproof feeling of build quality that's as good as anything in the sector.
Just about the only criticism of the Astra's interior was that, although well built, it didnt offer a whole lot of slick design to catch the eye.
The Corsa changes that particular script with translucent ambient lighting on the centre console switchgear, one of those surprise and delight features that adds the all-important showroom wow-factor. The round air vents and big satellite navigation screen (available on high spec cars only) give the Corsa's dash a far more modern, integrated look than the piecemeal integration of technology of the old car.
Prices start at around £4,225 for an 06 plate 1.0i 12v Life model with three doors, the five-door variant tacking another £150 to that figure. The peppier 1.2-litre models open at £4,350, again on that 2006 plate, but many will want air conditioning which will add £400 to that asking price.
The 1.6-litre SRi kicks of at £6,675 on an 07 plate while the sporty VXR, only available in three-door form, opens at £8,375. The diesel Corsa models are very sought after and the 1.3-litre CDTi in 74bhp Life trim with air con starts at £4,925 with around 49,000 miles on the clock. Go for the bigger diesel engine and you'll pay £5,800 for an 06 plated 1.7 CDTi SXi.
The third generation Corsa feels built like a rock but, as we have seen from other manufacturers, perceived quality doesnt always translate into actual, quantifiably low warranty claims.
In the Corsa's case, however, what you see is largely what you get. There have been few reported issues with this car although the long service intervals mean a full service history is even more desirable than usual.
Check for the usual parking knocks and scrapes and make sure the alloys aren't kerbed.
The sporty SRi and VXR models should be checked for tyre wear, suspension alignment and accident damage and a full HPI check undertaken.